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Perth to Melbourne

That was a long drive! 9 days along the south coast.

It was smooth sailing except for a few hiccups – thankfully I brought some tools and the MX5 workshop manual or it would have been a lot longer than 9 days…


Stereo Shelf

I bought a stereo and the speakers were bigger than the ones I’d planned to get – so I built a cabinet/shelf for them.

The cabinet was specifically designed to:

  • be cheap & easy
  • be stable & well-balanced
  • have a small footprint, and be invisible
  • provide access to cables for the TV
  • allow airflow over the TV to prevent overheating

It was cut from a single sheet of 900 x 600 x 9 plywood. All joints are glued butt joints with the butt surfaces oriented vertically, so that the glue takes almost no load.

There were a few thicknesses of plywood available so I made up a quick model in solidworks (with the thickness as a variable) and ran an FEA based on the speaker weight plus a bit extra – solidworks FEA isn’t the most accurate but it was good enough to check my numbers. The first set of results weren’t great so I added gussets below the top shelf:

The gussets brought the max deflection down to ~100 micron which is probably overkill!

In total, the project took an hour of planning, $15 of timber and paint, and a few afternoons of work. Overall a success!

Leucopogon propiniquus

4a. L.propiniquus 24kv

X-ray microscope image of L. propiniquus seeds

Brake Rotor Model

Just for fun, based off Google images



Laser microscope

I stumbled upon a neat idea and whipped up a version of my own – this is a laser microscope, which uses a spherical drop of water as both a lens and a sample. My laser is pretty bright, but once projected onto a wall the image is quite dim – though if you look closely you can see some bacteria moving around in this sample of pond water.